- Title: FRANCE: SATELLITE TRACKING USED TO FIGHT CREEPING UNDERGROWTH
- Date: 1st August 1997
- Summary: NEAR CLERMONT-FERRAND, FRANCE (AUGUST 1, 1997) (RTV) 1. GV COUNTRYSIDE, PAN TO SIGN SAYING PARK AREA OF AUVERGNE REGION/SCU SIGN (2 SHOTS) 0.25 2. GV PEOPLE CLIMB HILLSIDE ZOOM OUT 0.49 3. SLV HORSES GRAZING IN FIELD 0.59 4. MV MAN CARRYING RADIO BELT, APPROACHING HORSE/ HORSE EATS FROM MANS HAND 1.10 5. SCU MEN CHECKING SATELLINTE BELT, CHECKING EQUIPMENT/HORSE LEANS FORWARD TO SEE WHAT THEY ARE DOING 1.19 6. LV HORSES IN FIELD PAN LEFT TO BRIDLE AND SCU BELT BEING PLACED ON HORSE (2 SHOTS) 1.43 7. SCU SATELLITE RECEIVING EQUIPMENT IN BELT ATTATCHED TO HORSE 1.50 8. SCU MAN SAYING THE PROBLEM POSED BY THIS SITE IS THAT THE SHRUB VEGETATION IS CLOSING IN ON THE GRASSLANDS. WE'RE USING HERBIVORES TO CONTROL THE EXTENT OF THE UNDERGROWTH. WE'RE USING COWS AND HORSES TO FIGHT THE RISE OF THE VEGETATION AND TO TRY AND PUSH IT BACK. (FRENCH) 2.17 9. SCU HORSE GRAZING/MAN SPEAKING (FRENCH) (2 SHOTS) 2.35 10. MV WORKERS ATTATCHING COW WITH RADIO SATELLITE (2 SHOTS) 3.05 11. HAS COW RELEASED FROM PEN WEARING BELT 3.15 12. LV EXTERIOR OF RESEARCH LABORATORY OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF AGRONOMIC RESEARCH (INRA) 3.20 13. SCU RESEARCHER WITH COMPUTER SCREEN SHOWING LOCATION AND ROUTES OF HORSES AND COWS (4 SHOTS) 3.48 14. SCU INRA RESEARCH DIRECTOR MICHEL THERIEZ SAYING WE ARE STUDYING THE POSSIBILITY USING THIS IN COUNTRIES IN AFRICA WHERE DESERTIFICATION IS A PROBLEM, AND THAT THEY WANT TO ADAPT THE GSM SYSTEM IN AFRICA SO THAT PLANTS IN SOME AREAS CAN BE PROTECTED. (ENGLISH) 4.34 15. SLV/LV HORSES GRAZE IN FIELD (2 SHOTS) 4.48 Initials S3 P3 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA7I133M47ISB9ROEDUURUK15DC
- Location: THEIX, NEAR CLERMONT-FERRAND, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:04:49
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: - INTRO: Two cows and a horse are being tracked by satellite in an unprecedented experiment to monitor grazing on a French mountainside from space. The move is part of a plan fight the creeping undergrowth that is slowly stifling the area.
The dormant volcanoes in the Auvergne region, once covered in rich grasslands, are now being taken over by dense undergrowth as farmers have gradually given up working in the area.
Nowadays, the region depends on tourism for its survival and the authorities are desperate to keep the areas open.
Scientists have now called in their new weapon against the undergrowth; two cows called Claudie and Marguerite the cows and Garance, a mare.
Their job is to eat their way through the undergrowth.
They are part of an experiment to see whether grazing is more effective than pesticides land clearance at keeping the undergowth at bay.
And to see exacly how efficient they are scientists are tracking them with pinpoint accuracy via satellite.
Beacons strapped to their hides enable computer-based herdsmen to see how much they are eating and how far they have travelled.
The transmitters show the animals' position to about three metres (10 feet) every five seconds on a mountainside 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) up near Clermont-Ferrand, central France, which is overrun by brambles, weeds and bushes.
The animals are among 36 cows and 12 horses in two separate herds in the area being used in the experiment by the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA).
"This will allow us to see if cows and horses are complementary in their grazing habits," said Didier Micol, an INRA researcher.
Farmers have steadily abandoned such upland areas as unprofitable.
The dense vegetation that takes over makes the areas inaccessible to walkers and tourists.
It would be impossible for human herdsmen to keep such close track of the animals as the satellite system, more often used to let ships pinpoint their position at sea.
Head of research at INRA Michel Theriez says the technique may well be adapted to combat desertification in parts of Africa, as herds can be moved on to new areas if the satellites show the animals have been over-grazing.
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- Embargoed:16th August 1997 13:00